President Joe Biden warned Friday that the number of coronavirus deaths in the US is expected to exceed 600,000 and urged Congress to implement its $ 1.9 trillion plan to fight Covid-19 and provide economic relief for struggling Americans implement quickly.
While Biden called for the urgent adoption of his American Rescue Plan, his efforts to get Congress to work together on its fast-paced agenda could be hampered by Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
Top Democratic lawmakers said Friday they wanted to send the impeachment article passed by the House of Representatives to the Senate on Monday, sparking Trump’s trial in the corpse.
“The virus is on the rise,” Biden told White House reporters before signing executive orders that boosted food aid and expedited stimulus payments to Americans.
“We have 400,000 deaths, which are expected to reach well over 600,000. Families are getting hungry. People are at risk of being displaced. Job losses are increasing again. We need to act now … We need to be fast act.”
Biden added that he looks forward to working with both parties in Congress to move “quickly” forward and help people through his rescue plan.
“The bottom line is: we are in a national emergency. We need to act as if we were in a national emergency,” he said.
Biden must press Congress for funding and at the same time have his government confirmed – Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin received the approval of the Senate on Friday – and prepare for the turmoil from the impeachment process.
Trump was indicted by the House of Representatives on Jan. 13 for inducing supporters to storm Congress a week earlier.
“There will be a trial in the United States Senate and a vote will be taken to see if the president should be convicted,” said Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Democratic Senate.
– Blocking of executive orders –
Though Biden’s recent food aid and stimulus payments rulings were modest, they reiterated the message that Washington must act resolutely on the pandemic and its economic fallout.
Biden’s US $ 1.9 trillion rescue plan provides more than $ 400 billion to fight the pandemic, plus additional funding for small businesses and direct aid to Americans.
However, Congress, which has already passed two major economic relief bills, is hesitant. The President’s Democratic Party has only a small majority in the House of Representatives and a wafer-thin advantage in the Senate.
Biden also relies on the Senate to hurry and approve his cabinet nominations.
Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Republicans and Democrats in Congress need to find ways to address the conflict issues.
“We are currently facing a period of multiple crises and we now need to be able to act on multiple fronts,” he said.
The new administration has brought a quieter style after the tumultuous Trump era, but Biden’s cascade of executive orders since joining the White House on Wednesday is making a lot of noise itself.
On the day of inauguration, the 78-year-old Democrat signed 17 actions. He signed 10 on Thursday and two more on Friday.
The multitude of assignments covered key campaign agenda items, including the political hot potato of immigration reform.
Biden extended protection against deportation for so-called “dreamers” – children of illegal immigrants who grew up in the country.
The offensive, however, is largely directed against what Biden described on Friday as the “once-in-a-century public health crisis” and the worst “job and economic crisis in modern history.”
“And the crisis is only getting worse,” he said. “It’s not getting better. It’s deepening.”
– ‘Walking and chewing gum’ –
In the field of appointments, a first important security figure was confirmed on Wednesday, the director of the National Intelligence Service Avril Haines. The Austin Senate ratification on Friday makes him the first African American to head the Pentagon.
Tony Blinken as Secretary of State and Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury appeared to be on their way for confirmation either Friday or the next week.
This already congested timetable in the legislature now has to deal with the impeachment drama.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden, who was a senator for decades, remains confident.
“The Senate, members of both parties, can walk and chew gum at the same time and run the business of the American people,” she said.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)